The Joy of 6 show took place this Sunday (17th July) at Sheffield Hallam University. Cold War Commanders had a demo/participation game on, based on the Red Effect novels of Harvey Black. Our game centred on a Russian/East German attack at the junction of a Dutch armoured/mechanised brigade and British 4th Armoured Division. The right flank of 4th Armoured was held by a Chieftain regiment, the 5th Batt. Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, with a detached mechanised infantry company and Milan I atgm attachments from 2nd Batt. Queens Regt. Contact with the Dutch indicated the presence of a battalion of Leopard IIs, mechanised infantry and possibly Leopard Is. Facing the British, it was anticipated that a Soviet tank regiment, plus a motor rifle regiment was fast approaching, while the Dutch faced a reinforced East German motor rifle regiment.
The lull before the storm. The train rattles through a deceptively deserted German landscape.
At least the roads are quiet.
Industry appears to have shut down in the face of the Soviet advance.
Motorway fly overs, the perfect spot for Harriers to replenish.
TV emergency broadcasts advising civilians to stay in their homes, in cellars if available. Those over 45 remember 1945 all too well.
Industrial plants deserted.
Docks frozen in the midst of containers and part loaded canal barges.
All is not deserted though. Squadrons of Chieftain tanks advance to occupy covered positions in fields and woods.
Attack helicopter flights cross the coming battlefield.
Tanks occupy cover to act as defensive strongpoints.
Attack helicopters probe for the Soviet MLA.
Woodland provides excellent defensive cover with Chieftain squadrons covering both left and right flanks, the right covering the Dutch left flank if required.
The wiley Soviet commander uses the East Germans to try and pin the Dutch, while his tank regiment pushes into the British right flank. Unfortunately for him, this is right in front of the woodland occupied by two Chieftain squadrons. Suddenly, his first wave T-64 battalion is reduced to one serviceable tank, for no loss to the British. Attack helicopters attempt to pick off parts of his second wave tank force.
Chieftains in cover are really effective.
The Soviet response is to use second wave T-64s and massed artillery to suppress the central Chieftain squadron occupying the field system. Despite strikes from three MLRS rocket batteries and two Carnation batteries, plus tank fire, the Chieftains have only 1 to 3 hits per platoon, although all are suppressed bar the Sq HQ. However, with all Chieftains in the woods unsuppressed and ready to fire next turn, the Soviet commander decides his force will be better served by holding back out og range.
Dutch Leopard IIs also realise the value of woodland strongpoints.
But other Dutch armoured units realise the East Germans have stalled and push across the canal to bring them under close range fire.
Dutch reserves pour on the East German agony.
And cover the docks area at the canal terminus.
The TV tower remains in NATO hands so far.
A Harrier hide located close to woodland.
The hide, secluded from most direct fire from the Soviets.
British Army logistics base, sending resupplies out to the forward tank squadrons.
Milan I teams around the power station.
The first wave of Soviet MR IFVs severely mauled by artillery and air strikes.
The day was mainly about meeting people and talking about the modelling, game system and our plans for larger games in the coming months. Hopefully we recruited a couple of new players interested in taking part in Aegean Strike in September. This meant that shopping was severely curtailed, although I managed to make modest purchases at Heroics and Ros, Timecast and Brigade Models, although I'd have loved more time to peruse all the other stalls present.
All the other games looked truly amazing, but I didn't really have time to look at them fully. However, the following pictures show the "First Day of the Somme" game, using Timecast new and very excellent looking flexible trench systems. This game was huge and was so big that they didn't have time to play, not finishing set up until lunchtime. However, it looked superb and would make a great weekend game.
I loved the use of Woodland Scenic armatures to represent shattered and shell blown woodland.
All in all a great day out. If 6mm is your thing, then Sheffield in mid-July is the place to be next year.
As ever, thanks for looking.